Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Your Successful Preschooler: Ten Skills Children Need to Become Confident and Socially Engaged

Your Successful Preschooler: Ten Skills Children Need to Become Confident and Socially Engaged by Ann E. Densmore, Margaret L. Bauman ($16.95) is a informative book targeted to parents of preschoolers.

I propose a second audience: parents of children on the autism spectrum. As we switched away from behavioral approaches and moved into developmental approaches, I had to learn about, well, (this is obvious, but I'll say it anyway) development. What exactly, sets children with autism apart from typically developing children? I'll be blunt: it's not a behavior or a list of behaviors. Instead, the things that set apart children with autism from their typcially developing peers include self-control, self-awareness, self-regulation, flexibility, resilience, executive functioning.

The official list is
Of strong moral character
Socially engaged
Passionate about learning

And that's what "Your Successful Preschooler" sets out to explain.

The best teaching books for me have been books about typical development. Getting a picture of what typical development looks like and the importance of the parent piece in child development keeps me on track, keeps priorities in line in my mind.

If you're parenting pre-schoolers, you'll like this book. Densmore and Bauman write about what's important for parents to know in an easy-to-understand way, without a lot of technical terms (no medical or speech-language pathology translator required), and provide how-to examples along the way. They include the importance of outdoor play and all things sensory, something I did not understand until we began intervening with a child who had regressed into autism.

If you're parenting a child on the autism spectrum and have made the switch or are considering the switch to a developmental approach and want to get a picture of how development plays out, this is a good introduction, a good reminder of what experience and practice, exactly, we want to give our children in terms of remediation and core deficits of autism.

Interesting sidebar: I googled the names of the authors and discovered that author Ann Densmore knows autism. She presented at a conference just last year on the topic, Using Play to Foster Communication and Social Integration in Children with Autism. I'd love to hear her thoughts on applying concepts from Your Successful Preschooler to autism.

The first chapter of the book is available here.

ISBN: 978-0-470-49898-9
288 pages
February 2011

Jossey-Bass sent me a copy of Your Successful Preschooler to review. I am not compensated for this review and am not obligated to provide a positive review.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This book looks great. I just ordered it. Margaret l. Bauman is also a neurologist who studies autism and works with kids on the spectrum. I agree it would be great to hear the authors thoughts on applying their techniques to kids with asd.

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